T-bars can make even experienced shredders nervous: Skiers (especially those in line at Breckenridge’s Horseshoe Bowl) often heckle riders who fail to mount the lift and jeer them to the back of the line. Keeping your spot—and your cred—requires more than holding on tight.

1. Each T-bar can hold up to two skiers. Whether you’re riding solo or not, stand to one side of the dangling, upside-down T’s central shaft and hold your poles in your outside hand.

2. Keep an eye on your approaching ride by looking over your inside shoulder. As the cross bar hits your backside, grab the shaft with your inside hand, then use your other one to position the crossbar just below your butt. Your buns will keep it from sliding upward.

3. There’ll be slack in the line to give you time to get in position, but don’t lean back before the line goes taut or you’ll fall. Instead, keep holding onto the shaft and stand with your knees slightly bent to absorb the jolt as the rope catches. Then let the crossbar take most of your weight.

4. Once you’re moving, the easiest way to eat snow is by crossing your tips. Try to keep both skis flat on the ground, not on their edges. Stay loose to soak up any bumps or ruts.

5. To dismount, use the central shaft to pull yourself forward off the crossbar with your inside hand and ski away from the lift at the same time. Once you’re clear, let go.

This article was originally published in 5280 November 2023.
Nicholas Hunt
Nicholas Hunt
Nicholas writes and edits the Compass, Adventure, and Culture sections of 5280 and writes for 5280.com.